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Why let Netanyahu write the Labour rulebook?

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I’d had a suspicion that we were going to end up with the full IHRA when the Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) met on 4th Sept. The weekend before, the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, had been making conciliatory noises, seeking to assure the Jewish community that the full IHRA would be adopted. And so it was. The long coda that Corbyn sought, that would allow Labour members to state Israel was a racist state, was not accepted; instead at the behest of Jon Lansman of Momentum and MP Rebecca Long-Bailey the NEC agreed to this weak free speech caveat: “We recommend that we adopt the IHRA in full with all examples. This does not in any way undermine the freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians. We re-invite the organisations to re-engage in consultation on the Code of Conduct.”

Skwawkbox refers to Corbyn’s much longer statement protecting free speech, that the NEC may yet adopt, as Code+; their article of the 4th Sept suggests that Corbyn’s coda may be agreed at the next NEC meeting on the 18th Sept or the one following Conference (23-26th Sept) with the 3 new NEC members, none of whom have indicated a preference to me.

My concern is that Corbyn’s statement makes no attempt to challenge Israel’s claim to be a democratic state.

And note – the 205 Labour MPs who passed the full IHRA without caveats on the 5th Sept (there are only 257 in all; only 8 voted against) will not accept Corbyn’s statement without a fight. Tony Greenstein of Labour against the Witch-hunt observed in his blog that:

As Labour MPs voted to adopt, by 205-8 with 12 abstentions, the full IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism,’ without even a nod to such concepts as free speech, Israel’s colonial High Court gave the go ahead for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, the West Bank village between Jerusalem and the settlement of Maaleh Adumim, to proceed. In place of Khan al-Ahmar, which has only been there for nearly 70 years, will be Jewish only settlements.  By what definition of racism is this not racist?  If Jews in Britain were evicted to make way for non-Jews would that not be anti-Semitic?  Only a racist can pretend that Israel is not an inherently racist state, yet this is what 205 Labour MPs did.

I share Tony’s pessimistic view that without a proper campaign, we are stuck with what the NEC and PLP has agreed. Sadly, most Labourists just want to move on, now.

But I digress. I woke in the night before the fateful NEC meeting and realised the worst may come to pass. I headed for the computer and prepared a petition on Change.org; but not just an ordinary petition, because they are often ignored – this one had to be a death wish. I waited all day for the announcement and within minutes of the BBC news at 6pm I had posted it on over 20 Facebook groups for different Labour Party supporters (yes, I’m a member of all of them!). Soon the pages were ablaze with passion as comments rolled in – some loved the petition and signed and shared it immediately, some thought I was trying to re-open wounds that desperately needed to heal. Here’s what it says:

“Labour members declaring Israel a racist endeavour ask NEC to abandon full IHRA

We Labour Party members declare Israel to be a racist endeavour. We are not anti-Jew.

We challenge our National Executive Committee to expel us from the Party, if you believe that, according to the IHRA definition you adopted on the 4th Sept, we are anti-Semitic. If you will not, we expect you to return Labour to its previous position, which allowed full freedom of speech on Israel.

We also call into question the adopted point 3) “Applying double standards to Israel by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation”. Israel cannot claim to be a democratic nation. Haaretz noted that the number of Arabs in Israel (including Gaza and the West Bank) will exceed that of Jews by 2020. If it were a true democracy, the country would shortly be ruled by Arabs, a prospect so terrifying to Jewish leaders that they can only maintain their control through denying the 4.4 million Arabs living in the occupied areas the right to vote in national elections.

We believe that of 550,000 members, the fact that only 45 alleged cases are active in the LBC leaked dossier shows there is no particular problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. However, adopting the full IHRA will multiply the number of these cases many times over. Please keep the Labour Party unified and abandon the added examples that stifle me from expressing my view on the racist nature of Israel and the lack of democracy there.

My name is below…”

If any Mondoweiss readers are in the Labour Party and feel inspired to sign the petition, they can go here.

So far, 99 people have signed, volunteering to put themselves in the firing line. When preparing the petition, I was minded by the film “Spartacus” where revolting slaves came forward to declare “I am Spartacus” knowing they’ll be crucified, all claiming to be the rebel the Romans wanted most. But I don’t want to see a line of crucified Labourists stretching along the Appian Way leading back to Rome.

In fact, I am hoping here that the NEC will not, in fact expel any of us. It won’t be worth the candle. If they ignore us, which I guess they’ll be inclined to do, it will send a strong message to all Party members that it is still OK to say that Israel is a racist state. And we need to make clear that its claim to be a democracy is false.

I sent a press release to over 100 journalists. Of course, nothing in the newspapers yet; the press have gotten bored of the whole affair. But if I can get 200 folk to sign, I think they’d have to publish something. I mean, putting 200 people through the Labour Party expulsion processes for saying the truth? I think the NEC would struggle with that.

But getting the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to change course will be another huge challenge. One of the 205 Labour MPs who voted in favour of the full IHRA told me: “Every other institution in the UK from the police and schools to universities and courts use the IHRA definition. For the Labour Party not to, sets us apart from the entire country and the stories that have come out since, show that the leadership has some anti-Semitism on them. That’s not right for a party and persons that want to lead the country.”

But just because the schools and Unis were browbeaten into it by May’s Government, it does not mean that Labour should be too. Also note that 80% of Conservative MPs are members of “Conservative Friends of Israel” so it’s no surprise the Government is on the side of Netanyahu on this. Israel is pulling every UK politicians’ strings, as Al Jazeera’s undercover investigation “The Lobby” shows.

I’m aware that my petition is a bit weak, coming from me myself I, with no other body mentioned. I started fishing last week, sending my petition to the many groups around the UK that might be sympathetic. I discovered early doors that London Momentum activists were a world away from my own in Edinburgh. The Camden and Brent groups are well-known for their activity on this front.  On the 20th August, an emergency meeting called by Camden Momentum and attended by over 110 members from 16 Momentum groups, overwhelmingly agreed this petition:

“WE DEMAND
The members elected Jeremy Corbyn. The IHRA definition would return the party to the right which we voted down by a large majority – twice. Therefore, the members, not the NEC, nor the PLP, must decide whether or not to adopt the IHRA examples. We demand that the decision be put to a vote of all Labour Party members.

So far they have a lot more signatures than me – 2,731, which rather puts mine in the shade – but my 99 are willing to put their necks on the line in what may possibly be a drawn-out disciplinary process leading to their expulsion as anti-Semites, with consequent vilification at the hands of Laura Kuenssberg, Dame Margaret Hodge et al.

The problem I face too, is convincing a weary NEC that the IHRA is a subject worth revisiting. Quite a few Labour Party members have told to give it a rest and heed Corbyn and McDonnell’s plea that we get on the front foot and prioritise our programme for government. I counter with the following:

  1. Labour was founded on social justice – and that’s what this is about. The abominable treatment of Arabs by Israel is the biggest recruiting tool for Al Qaeda, ISIS and the rest. By refusing to allow us to speak the truth about Israel, the world is made a more dangerous place.
  2. There are 2.8 million Muslims in the UK. Most Muslims identify with the Palestinians. They see a Labour Party keen to appease Zionists, but deaf to Arab views. The Party ignores this demographic to its disadvantage. Muslims have little confidence that a Labour Government will be serious about addressing the biggest problem in the Middle East. Their votes are at risk for the sake of some of the UK’s 370,000 Jews, many of whom wouldn’t vote Labour anyway..
  3. Not allowing free speech on Israel or any subject is against everything the Labour Party stands for. By denying racism there we severely compromise our ability to call for change. We cannot even point out that Israel’s claim to be a democracy is false, too.
  4. Voters observe that if Labour can be bullied this easily over alleged anti-Semitism, how will it cope if it ever gets into power? Suggest renationalising the Railways? Tax Amazon? Change press ownership rules? “How impractical! And dangerous!” the media and the right will say to this and all the 100 policies to transform Britain (that you’ll find on one page here). Few will come to pass – the press and the wealthy conservatives will use every trick in the Trump scare-mongering book to make sure the manifesto stalls once Labour is in office. We must show voters we can stand up to bullies and have confidence in our beliefs.

So to win and make lasting change, turning the clock back on the IHRA is a step we have to take.

To conclude, part of the problem is that many of the PLP are Blairites. Without their hand, I doubt if we’d be in this position. Sadly Netanyahu, British Zionists, Conservatives and the Labour Right have a common aim in unseating Corbyn. Having thrown a lot of mud at him over the summer, they’re hoping that he emerges, weakened – and that all can now move on to new and exciting ways to make him unelectable. But as a beaten dog, he is strangely attractive to the vast multitudes of working people who admire his principled stance. Like Jesus, the more they beat him, the more sacred he becomes. But is it enough?

What we are seeing is a Party in fear of the media, allowing Zionists to undermine freedom of speech. What we need to do is show those in fear of bad press that the NEC cannot pay lip service to a thing that it does not believe in. For who can argue that Israel is not a racist state? It’s as if we’re allowing Theresa May and Netanyahu to write our rule book here.

About Pete Gregson

Pete Gregson has 2 sons and lives in Edinburgh. He campaigns relentlessly for whistleblowers; he was fired from Edinburgh Council for blowing the whistle on a scheming senior officer. He also campaigns on Government mismanagement and misuse of state funds, all through his website www.kidsnotsuits.com. The theory being, that money burnt in the back office (on “suits”) would be better spent on the front line (on “kids”) - who are the future.

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29 Responses

  1. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    September 12, 2018, 11:22 am

    An excellent article. I have to confess that as a long time Labour Party supporter ( NB but not a supporter of the odious self serving Blair and his pseudo Tory cronies in the centre and centre right of the party) I had my doubts about Jeremy Corbyn and his credentials for leadership of the party. Those doubts have been swept away by the way that he has handled himself throughout this disgusting witch hunt. Some have said that his handling of the issue has been weak and inept – either he should have caved into to the conspirators instead of letting the issue drag on and others that he should have justifiably and aggressively fought back. It is clear IMO from his words , his actions and his behaviour that he is someone who is naturally conciliatory and someone who naturally seeks dialogue as opposed to demonising those with whom he disgagrees.

    I believe that this farcical cynical witchhunt will backfire on the conspirators and it will have significantly strengthened Jeremy`s standing amongst the electorate particularly the young not only because of the integrity and restraint which he has shown in the face of vile and loathsome attacks from the likes of Hodge and her fellow Israeli Firsters and the assorted motley crew of Judases in the Blairite wing.

    There has also been a significant element of condescension shown to the British Electorate in general. I am certain that across the board irrespective of the widespread collusion in the witch hunt of all of the British Print media ( NB increasingly irrelevant in the internet age) the British electorate will have smelt a huge rat.

    • gamal
      gamal
      September 12, 2018, 12:04 pm

      “the odious self serving Blair and his pseudo Tory cronies in the centre and centre right of the part”

      “pseudo Tory” I would say pseudo Labour, but perhaps ‘crypto-Tory’, if that is not antisemitic of me, who knows everything is latent these days except sexuality and imperialism.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      September 12, 2018, 8:36 pm

      Calm composure in the face of heavy enemy fire inspired George Washington’s troops to fight on with him.

      From whom do those 205 Labour MPs get their campaign money? Given the way politics works, that seems to me a legitimate and potentially highly relevant question. The voters deserve to know.

    • Brewer
      Brewer
      September 13, 2018, 3:29 am

      Well put
      The power of the lobby both in Britain and the U.S. is actually a balloon.
      Zionists run a big risk in promoting their agenda over the traditional Brit working class ideals of social justice and human rights. The balloon may burst, suffer a side blow. Joan Ryan will have to fight for her seat:
      https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/lfi-chair-joan-ryan-loses-local-no-confidence-vote-by-94-votes-to-92/

  2. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    September 12, 2018, 11:49 am

    Pete Gregson I admire your courage and tenacity, you are of course right about Israel being a racist endeavor, anyone examining Israeli laws can have no doubt, see below.
    After Agreeing to the IHRA definition plus examples in full the NEC added this caveat to the agreement “This does not in any way undermine the freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians”. [A longer more detailed statement by Corbyn was withdrawn when it was found not to have NEC support]. But on the Corbyn sceptic wing of the party, Progress director Richard Angell commented: “Today’s decision is an insult. Labour does not know better than Jewish people about antisemitism.” Labour Against Antisemitism said it was “disappointed” that the NEC opted to “diminish” the IHRA definition.
    It would appear that the Progress wing of the party don’t want even the most bland criticism of Israel, in fact no criticism at all, where now for free speech?
    Imagine if the UK had in its statutes, and the USA had in its constitution measures to ensure only white people had the right to immigration [one of Israel’s basic laws [1950] is only Jews have the right to immigration into Israel]. Continuing the analogy with Israel’s recently passed ‘Nation-State’ [basic law].
    1/. “The states of the UK and the US are the nation-states of the ‘white people”.
    2/. “The actualization of the right of national self- determination in the states of the UK/USA is unique to white people”
    3/. “The UK/USA will labour to ensure the safety of sons of white people”.
    4/. “The UK/USA will act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious legacy of white people among the Diaspora”.
    5/. “The UK/USA views ‘white’s only’ settlement as joint national values and will labour to encourage and promote its establishment and development”.
    Now let us look at one of the IHRA examples which the Labour Party, some of Jewish origin, some not, have incorporated into the Labour Party rule book.
    “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination – e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor”.
    Who could deny that examples 1 to 5 above if incorporated into UK and US law would prove 100% that the UK and US were inherently racist and that their ‘existence were racist endeavors’ and that anyone in the UK/US [including Jeremy Corbyn] who disapproved of 1 to 5 above, and said so, would fall foul of the IHRA definition, be accused of being Anti Semitic and drummed out of the Labour Party. This abomination of a rule has to go.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      September 12, 2018, 12:21 pm

      HarryLaw: Imagine if the UK had in its statutes, and the USA had in its constitution measures to ensure only white people… ETC.
      ——————————————

      A counterargument to that analogy would be: the existence of a Jewish people is widely recognized around the world (rightly or wrongly); the existence of a “white people” is not.

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw
        September 12, 2018, 2:14 pm

        South Africa had laws favouring ‘White people’ over ‘Black people’, just like Israel has laws favouring people of Jewish origin over non Jews. Are you forgetting Apartheid?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 12, 2018, 2:44 pm

        “existence of a Jewish people is widely recognized around the world”

        Really, the the only reason anybody recognizes “the Jews” as a people (outside of Israel, of course) is to discriminate against us, or make antisemitic generalizations.
        It’s hardly a recommendation.

        And oddly enough, the places where we have done the best don’t recognize us as a “people” at all, just individual citizens.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 12, 2018, 9:48 pm

        “the existence of a “white people” is not.”

        They still seem to get collective blame for a lot of things, and especially for being dead and male.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        September 12, 2018, 10:58 pm

        Harry: South Africa had laws favouring ‘White people’ over ‘Black people’…
        ———————————-

        I never said white people do not exist. That would be silly. (Recognizing the existence of white people is not the same as recognizing the existence of a white people– do you not understand the difference?)

        Also, note that I did not claim that nobody recognized the existence of a white people, but rather that such a people was not widely recognized around the world.

        The widespread recognition of a Jewish people is an empirical fact.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        September 13, 2018, 1:09 am

        I have pictures of my Austrian people gathered at haying time. I have family stories of my Scottish people stealing British horses, etc. My Canadian people are still there and for a time a cousin was a noted member of the Hockey people. My Polish people used to gather every year until the organisers died off or something…might be the discussions on names ending in -ski and -sky that killed them. My daughter is one of the Austrian people again. She used to be a member of the German people, but got a new husband. New paperwork was the magic formula…sprinkled with a little official abracadabra. I’m an American people, but sometimes feel better being a Cowboy people. I just realized all my people have history, books, buildings, statues, parades, etc. Oh yeah, mixed in there is my Jewish people. One of them likes hang out by the barbeque at gathersings and talk endlessly about the special sauce, so most of us just ignore him and hang out by the keg.
        Some scientists say my people emerged from a crack in the earth in Africa. Another scientist says I am Star people.

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw
        September 13, 2018, 4:01 am

        When the NEC’s decision to endorse the IHRA definition of anti-semitism was agreed on, Palestine solidarity activists fly posted bus stops in London declaring that Israel is a racist endeavour.
        This was immediately denounced by John McDonnell who told BBC’s Politics Live that “It is not the right thing to say. It is against the examples that we set out and linked to the IHRA definitions.”
        McDonnell did not involve himself in semantics, he, like every person with common sense knows the meaning of the IHRA examples and why the Israeli government wanted them included in Labours rule book. Libraries are full of books on the meaning of the word ‘the’ as in ‘the territories Israel must withdraw from’ in UNSC Resolution 242, everyone knows what it means, except the Israelis.

  3. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    September 12, 2018, 12:23 pm

    Another way of creating martyrs is to ask those NEC members and Labour MP’s who support this code and examples the simple question, do you agree, after studying Israel’s laws and history that Israel is an inherently racist state? Only a fool and charlatan could disagree, the question needs to be asked.

  4. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    September 12, 2018, 12:57 pm

    To those prospective and unaware Martyrs before answering the question above should lawyer up, I recommend Margaret Hodges’ lawyers Mishcon de Reya [ they will of course charge the earth] but hey, being called an Anti-semite could cost them their careers.

  5. JaapBo
    JaapBo
    September 12, 2018, 1:19 pm

    Of course Israel is a racist endeavour, and it is good to say so in order to educate people and to test how the IHRA-definition will be applied in case of official complaints:
    a) will the “vagueness” of the definition and the caveats like “depending on the context” acquit legitimate criticism of Israel (like saying its a racist endeavour, without indications that the person hates Jews as Jews)? or
    b) will the Israel/Zionist position be taken in which the vagueness and caveats are hypocritically ignored?

    Option a) would be preferable, but option b) offers an opportunity for further protest and discussion of precisely those subjects that Zionists want to avoid. For using option b) one would like a tranparent sanctions process, of which I’m not sure ….

  6. JaapBo
    JaapBo
    September 12, 2018, 1:24 pm

    What is sure is that the Antisemitism-accusations will not stop (because Corbyn still supports Palestinian rights, and Blairites and conservatives still want him gone), but that they will also continue being challenged.

  7. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    September 12, 2018, 2:07 pm

    Firstly IHRA is not the law of the land in the UK. It is the current repeat current accepted and defined position of UK political parties including the Labour Party which can be changed or dropped throught the democratic wishes of the members of the individual parties. Despite this obscene Zionist JC witchhunt the UK is still a democracy with democratic processes for electing candidates and electing MP`s.

    If there any serious attempt was made to make this the law of the land I believe that all hell would break loose with the UK electorate being seriously woken up to the fact that a tiny tiny and very privileged proportion of the UK population is being given seriously exceptional and discriminatory treatment at the behest of a foreign state.

    Speaking of which secondly I believe that it is long past time that all the main political parties in the UK be obliged to incorporate Nakba Denial as a breach of party principles and disciplinary action (after due process) be taken ahgainst the perpetrators.

    @HarryLaw
    “ask those NEC members and Labour MP’s who support this code and examples the simple question, do you agree, after studying Israel’s laws and history that Israel is an inherently racist state? Only a fool and charlatan could disagree, the question needs to be asked”
    I totally agree and as above I would add the Nakba question.

    • HarryLaw
      HarryLaw
      September 13, 2018, 6:42 am

      Ossinev “Firstly IHRA is not the law of the land in the UK” that’s correct, but some of the examples which the NEC say are Anti-semitic if repeated in certain areas or venues could be interpreted by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service as ‘Hate crimes’ or other ‘public order offences’ these two categories are well established legislation. After all, many people regard the posters put up on the London bus stops here… https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/outrage-as-posters-claiming-israel-is-a-racist-endeavour-spring-up-at-london-bus-stops-a3928681.html As vile and terrifying, so that anything so described inducing so much fear [justified or not] in a “victim”could have serious consequences for any “offender”. The chilling of free speech on Israel is the aim of the IHRA, and of course the removal of Corbyn and his followers.

  8. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    September 12, 2018, 2:35 pm

    Worth listening to the words of Tony Greenstein a Jew and the son of a Rabbi expelled from the Labour Party for making anti – semitic remarks FFS !!

    Further info on this and the object of his alleged A/S remarks Louise Ellman a Jewish Labour MP ( no not the one who brings an onion to debates about zionism just in case -that`s another Jewish Labour MP ) at:
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/labour-expels-jewish-anti-zionist-tony-greenstein

    And at:
    https://medium.com/@TonyGreenstein/palestinian-children-are-caged-like-animals-with-the-support-of-labours-despicable-mps-louise-ea90ad26934b

  9. lyn117
    lyn117
    September 12, 2018, 7:02 pm

    Perhaps a good tactic would be to get anti-Palestinian bigotry declared against labor rules:

    Examples of anti-Palestinian bigotry:

    – Denying that Palestinians are the indigenous people of Israel/Palestine (this includes a small minority of Palestinian Jews)
    – Denying that Palestinians have the right to return to their land of origin in Israel
    – Saying or implying that Palestinians in general are terrorists
    – Saying or implying that Palestinians don’t love their children

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      September 12, 2018, 8:31 pm

      Excellent idea.

      • lyn117
        lyn117
        September 12, 2018, 10:57 pm

        Thanks, and I should add

        – Denying historical facts regarding Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, such as the campaign of mass murder and terror along ethnic lines by which Israel was founded

    • Donald
      Donald
      September 12, 2018, 11:20 pm

      Very good idea. In the mainstream press ( at least in the US and as best I can tell in Britain too) it is taken for granted that the only type of bigotry that exists or is relevant to this subject is antisemitism.

  10. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    September 13, 2018, 8:09 am

    @Lyn117
    Thanks for the examples of Anti-Palestinianism. All Labour Party members in the UK should submit an appropriate motion along these lines. So far UK Zionists have waged a war on behalf of Zionist Israel with little real opposition and a lot of repulsive collaboration from within the Labour Party itself. Time for a serious fight back.

  11. Kay24
    Kay24
    September 13, 2018, 9:16 am

    British politicians who genuinely love their country, should avoid at all costs having the zionist poison seep into their political systems, and into their rulebooks. They should take a hard look at what is happening in the US, after corrupt politicians were bought by zionists, and wealthy American Jews, and become puppets, controlled by manipulative and devious zionist leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu. They should be wise enough to know that they must not be in a position to ask “how high” when Bibi commands them to jump, and even go against the interests of their own country. The US, despite their superpower status, and being one of the wealthiest, becomes an obedient poodle, when the zionists bark at them from Tel Aviv.

  12. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    September 13, 2018, 10:01 am

    @HarryLaw
    “Firstly IHRA is not the law of the land in the UK” that’s correct, but some of the examples which the NEC say are Anti-semitic if repeated in certain areas or venues could be interpreted by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service as ‘Hate crimes’ or other ‘public order offences’ these two categories are well established legislation.

    “could be interpreted”. Therein lies the key. I look forward to the Police and the CPS actually deciding to prosecute individuals based on what can only be totally subjective and tenuous evidence. I suspect that the Ziomob(hate crime statement ?) here in the UK would actually want to avoid prosecution cases as it would reveal their own criminal agenda ie attempting to control UK political and legal decisions on behalf of a foreign governement.Any such case would IMO generate huge public interest and would undo all the gains which they think they have made.First question asked would be eg why is so much taxpayers money being wasted on prosecuting someone who has stated that in his/ her opinion the state of Israel is a racist endeavour – and that is without the basic issue of the right to free speech.

  13. roseburn32
    roseburn32
    September 13, 2018, 4:19 pm

    Pete Gregson here. This info from “Labour Against the Witch hunt (LAW)” today

    John McDonnell stated in a recent interview with Jewish News [ https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/john-mcdonnell-interview/ ]

    “What we’re saying is it’s anti-Semitic to oppose a Jewish state”.

    This is pretty frightening, coming from the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chair of the Labour Representation Committee.

    As LAW says “Opposing a state that systematically, and constitutionally, marginalises and demonises Palestinians while subjecting them to discrimination is by definition a form of apartheid. It is not ant-Semitism to state this fact.”

    The article shows the hand the Jewish Labour Movement (a zionist body affiliated to Labour) is playing in leading the witch-hunt that is developing in the Labour Party. Guess I’ll be next

    • HarryLaw
      HarryLaw
      September 13, 2018, 6:03 pm

      Pete Gregson, re your link, J McDonnell on Corbyn sharing platforms with Anti-semitic groups over the years, McDonnell said “you have to look at why he was sharing platforms, it was not to endorse them, it was to try and engage with them”. So for all those many years Corbyn has traversed the country speaking up for the Palestinians in so many meetings it would be difficult to count them, McDonnell has the effrontery to claim he did not endorse them. This interview proves that McDonnell is a craven, spineless, lick-spittle with no respect for his colleagues or any self respect.

  14. Rashers2
    Rashers2
    September 14, 2018, 2:59 pm

    Despite its self-description as a “non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism”, the IHRA definition seems likely to come before the courts in one of the British jurisdictions sooner rather than later. The reasoned legal opinion of Hugh Tomlinson QC, one of the leading experts on media and freedom of expression law, is worth reading, if only to be prepared…. https://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/TomlinsonGuidanceIHRA.pdf
    Geoffrey Robinson QC’s more recent, legal opinion http://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/documents/uploaded-documents/Anti-Semitism_Opinion_03.09.18eds.pdf reaches a similar conclusion to Tomlinson but with references to “Labour anti-Semitism-Gate” and some useful background to the IHRA’s definition.

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